Being raised in the 1970s, our mum was a big believer in ‘smacked bottoms’ (no-one I knew ever called them spankings) for naughty children. Or at least she was where I was concerned, it seemed.
Whereas since the age of about three, I had regularly been turned over her knee with my pants down, by the time she reached six my little sister Sarah, who was five years younger than me, had never once had so much as a quick slap.
It wasn’t as if she was a little angel either and, naturally, I came to quite resent it. Quite often, at the end of having my backside tanned, I would complain that Sarah never got similar treatment when she was naughty. And the complaint would often draw another smack for being insolent.
Then, not long after her sixth birthday, everything changed. Sarah had been a brat all day, talking back at mum and at lunchtime she had just played with her food. She was still complaining about it and generally being pouty as we played after the meal, she on the floor with her doll, me at the cleared table working on a model aeroplane kit.
Something must have just snapped inside mum’s head because the next thing I knew there was an almighty yelling as mum picked up Sarah, tucked her under her arm and swatted the seat of her dress.
At this stage, all I could think of was how typical it was that having finally earned a smack, Sarah wasn’t getting it bare bottom like I did. But it appeared this was just the prelude. Mum sat down on the sofa and pulled the screaming girl towards her.
Then she took hold of Sarah’s hands and held them firmly down as she looked her squarely in the eye and began to give her the biggest telling-off she’d ever had.
By now, I knew what was coming. With me, mum would lecture me with my hands held like that until I had calmed down enough to be efficiently smacked. Sure enough, Sarah eventually got quieter, though still crying, and mum obviously decided it was time.
Watching from the table, I saw mum’s hands disappear up Sarah’s skirt and come down with her ribbed green tights and pink knickers in one job lot. Sarah yelled again as mum put her firmly over her lap – she’d seen too many of my smacked bottoms not to know what was coming and how much it would hurt.
Mum then flipped up the back of my sister’s skirt, revealing her bare bottom and because her behind was facing towards me, I could see Sarah intimately.
Until recently, we had both still been bathed together, so I was used to seeing my sister’s coy little ‘V’, but I had never seen her from the back like this before and I was surprised at how prominent and large her ‘front bottom’ was.
I literally did not know where to look as mum went to work. I felt all sorts of conflicting feelings (most of them rather base) as mum smacked hard and the small buttocks jiggled and reddened.
Finally it was over, Sarah was in floods and like me, was put in the corner, bare bottom on show, to think about what she’d done. Mum rolled up the back of Sarah’s skirt to reveal her buttocks – they were a deep scarlet.
I stared at the sturdy little bum covered in handprints until a sharp word from mum recalled me to my model-making.